Tuesday 22 November 2016

Holidays Are Coming

It's been quiet on these pages since COP7, mainly through my having to catch up at Puddlecote Inc after a week away in India, only then to jet off again to a small picturesque town near Hannover for a somewhat hedonistic weekend with a couple of friends. I'm not going to write a lot about the trip; I could justify it by declaring that what happens in Germany stays in Germany but it's more accurate to say that I've forgotten large chunks of it.

I do, however, recall a very pleasant early lunchtime on the Saturday in a small pub containing the welcome sight of ashtrays on the bar. Yes there is a smoking ban but - like a lot of places in Europe - this particular historic pub is one of many in the country to quite rightly ignore it. We didn't have any tobacco on us at the time but the barman was in possession of a large packet of red Pall Mall, so we asked if we could buy a cigarette off of him. He brusquely refused, replying that, no, he won't sell one to us ... he will give it to us to complement our incredibly frothy German liquid lunch.

Whiling away a few hours in good company whilst discussing the hideous personalities in 'public health' was fun, but back in the UK those self same miseries were just beginning their annual Christmas dronefest.

For example, this charmless nerk has been banging on about the Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour for three days straight now.

Now, this festive roadshow has become something of a staple this time of year and is enjoyed massively by adults and children up and down the country, yet joyless extremists like Ireland would happily see the tour banned and revel in childrens' tears. Yes, they really are that incredibly miserable, the child catcher and Grinch rolled up into one revolting fun-be-damned package.

Meanwhile, capslock-clunking business-hating fanatic Simon Capewell has also been spitting his usual bile at this seasonal treat in The Times.
Councils are being accused of “utter hypocrisy” for promoting a Coca-Cola Christmas lorry tour of the country while calling for curbs on junk food advertising. 
The tour, based on the drinks company’s Christmas advertisement, is visiting 44 sites around Britain and handing out free cans of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. 
Stops include Harlow, Essex, where the council says on its website that seeing the lorry is an “incredible” experience and urges families to “soak up the festive spirit with seasonal music [and] a free Coca-Cola”. 
Southend-on-Sea, also in Essex, says on its website: “For many, Christmas doesn’t start until the Coca-Cola Christmas truck appears on our television screens and in our towns.”
Yep, a welcome bit of happiness as the nights draw in, what's not to like? Well, for obsessive lunatics like Capewell, quite a lot.
Simon Capewell, vice-president of the Faculty of Public Health charity, said: “It is utter hypocrisy that councils [are] complicit in the marketing of sugary drinks to children while complaining about the burden of obesity.”
Good point. The solution, of course, is for councils to stop complaining about obesity since it's none of their business. Job done, and Capewell could then fuck off; keep fucking off; and when finished all the fucking off he can muster, could put some extra seasonal effort in and fuck off some more.
Coca-Cola said the tour “provides a moment of fun for friends and families in the build-up to Christmas”.
They're correct. It is always worth remembering that Ireland and Capewell are in a vanishingly tiny minority, hurling overwrought hyperbole at Coca-Cola like baboons fling their shit. This pathetic annual screech from their ilk also betrays their insistence that they don't pursue prohibition of sugary drinks, merely moderation. Because if you can't relax and enjoy a Coke and a smile once a year at Christmas when the Coca-Cola truck rolls into town, when the hell can you? There is quite simply no role for 'public health' here, instead it's a perfect example of why they should be cut off without a penny and sent cap-in-hand to JobCentre Plus ... preferably to be forced into litter-picking for McDonald's.

Or, as Simon Cooke put it yesterday on the subject of the Food Active campaign - which attacks the Coca-Cola tour - being funded out of local authority budgets.
What is truly offensive here is that your and my taxes are being used to mount an ill-informed and misleading attack on a private business. Hardly a day passes without one or other story about local councils being forced by budget cuts into closing and reducing services. All of the money for 'Food Active' comes from local council budgets in the North West and they are using it for the express purpose of lobbying for national government to change the law (as well as wanting to ban Coca-Cola's "Happy Holidays" promotion). 
So next time Manchester or Liverpool council leaders wring their hands about shutting down a library or cutting funding for a community centre ask them how they can justify spending money on astroturf political campaigns like 'Food Active'.
Quite. The very last thing councils should be spending their money on is lunatics like Capewell and Ireland to spout their niche hatred of a benign but tasty product and a wildly-successful family day out. If they want to recreate a scene from Scrooge's gloom emporium, they should be doing it with their own cash, not ours.

Fortunately, they're howling at the moon because no-one is taking their shit seriously.
Southend-on-Sea said it did not think promotion of the tour would overshadow its public health work while Harlow said it was up to parents to decide whether to accept a free drink for their children.
Never a truer word said.

You can see the tour schedule of the Coca-Cola truck here ... and since it upsets such bleak, dreary, anti-social cretins, here's a bit of Christmas glitter which will pass them by in their sad, cheerless, miserable lives. Enjoy, and don't waste too much pity on them.

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